Quarterback Recruiting: A Position of Need

It was obvious from the get-go that E.J. Manuel of Virginia Beach, Va., was one of the Terps' top priorities in 2008. After Scout.com's No. 2-ranked quarterback committed to Florida State, another option in Mike Glennon (NC State commit) of Chantilly, Va., was off the board quickly.

Finally, the last realistic Terps' quarterback target, Rob Calabrese from West Islip, NY, pledged to Central Florida in lieu of early playing time. Oh-for-three, Maryland closed shop on quarterbacks for 2008 and moved on to a healthy—and local—signal-calling class in 2009.

One emerging Terp target is Carroll Washington, a junior from Edmondson-Westside High School in nearby Baltimore. The 6-foot, 180-pound speedster clocks a 4.4-range 40-yard dash.
Washington, a two-year starter for the Red
Storm, grew up cheering for Maryland. But he could also project at another position in college because of his size.

"It was the closest team to me when I was growing up. They were my number one pick at first. That was the first college I knew about, it was the favorite and on my list," Washington said.

However, the dual-threat rising senior who threw for more than 1000 yards and ran for another 400 yards this season has been taking notes on West Virginia football.

"At my school we run their offense, and base our offense off theirs," Washington said.

Washington compares his style of play to Patrick White. The two share similar athleticism and size.

"When I look at his game, I look at my game. He passes it, he's not always looking for the deep ball, but he can run very effectively," he said.

Washington said that if he could commit to any school right now, it would be the Mountaineers. He puts Rutgers, West Virginia and Florida as his three favorites, with UConn, Rutgers and Maryland sending him the most mail.

Though he does not hold any offers yet, after earning Honorable Mention All-State and Second Team All-City, scholarships may begin trickling in. As a sophomore, Washington threw for 1300 yards, 10 touchdowns and only four interceptions. He also ran for 300 yards and seven more scores. Washington isn't focused on recruitment at the moment, spending his free time "running track, working out and getting ready for spring events, combines and things like that."

Washington says that the hometown Terps will always be considered in his list, and will likely take a visit in the future.

"I had a visit to Rutgers when they played Maryland on an unofficial [visit]. It was pretty cool, I liked it a lot. Everything I saw, the people and the fans, was very welcoming."

A short trip down the Hampton Roads Belt in the Virginia Beach area separates two of the top quarterback prospects in 2009. Kevin Newsome of Chesapeake, Va., and Tahj Boyd of Hampton, Va., are sure to be big names when the 2008 class closes shop on National Signing Day. The area is well-known for producing quarterback talent—Manuel in '08, Tyrod Taylor in '07, and Vic Hall in '05—so it is no surprise to see two more in '09.

Newsome, a 6-foot-3, 210-pound dual threat quarterback passed for 1200 yards and 12 touchdowns and ran for 500 yards and 11 more touchdowns this year for Western Branch High School as a junior. Already he has gathered offers from North Carolina, Penn State and Virginia Tech. Newsome is also hearing from Stanford, Maryland and Oregon.

However, Newsome, who runs a lightning-fast 4.57 40-yard dash, may be strongly leaning to Virginia Tech. The Chesapeake product grew up a fan of the Hokies, and after a strong performance at the U.S. Army All-American Underclassmen Combine, may have turned the heads of Southern Cal and Texas.

Boyd is of similar stature and talent. Standing 6-foot and 200 pounds, Boyd ran a 4.79 40-yard dash at a New Jersey combine over the summer. The Phoebus High School quarterback was voted MVP of the Peninsula District by the Virginian-Pilot. Though his end-of-the-season statistics were unavailable, he threw for 900 yards, eight touchdowns and only two interceptions in his first five games this season.

Boyd will be a top priority for the Terps in 2009. With another impressive season likely ahead, Boyd may garner looks from some of the top schools locally and nationally.

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